Polygon was created in 2019 and is the first well-structured platform developed for Ethereum scaling. Its core component is the Polygon SDK, a modular and flexible framework that supports building multiple types of applications. Polygon effectively transforms Ethereum into a full-fledged multi-chain system (aka Internet of Blockchains). Through Polygon, other decentralized networks or apps (dApps) compatible with Ethereum can use Ethereum's robust and secure networks without incurring high gas fees (transaction fees) and network congestion.
MATIC is the cryptocurrency of the Polygon blockchain and is used to drive development across the network. It can be used for staking, to pay transaction fees and to mint NFTs. MATIC is built on one of Ethereum's token standards, ERC-20, and has a cap of ten billion. Users of the Polygon chain can earn MATIC tokens by providing resources and services to the network.
Polygon enables Ethereum to connect to other blockchains and the aim of the protocol is to “help” Ethereum in scaling while supporting its core functionality. It does not try to take network participants from Ethereum, rather it creates a symbiotic relationship. Although Polygon is a separate blockchain, it connects to Ethereum as a “side chain”. This means that Polygon's blockchain will run in parallel and it can communicate with Ethereum if needed.
Developers of so-called dApps (decentralized applications) who want to distribute an Ethereum-dependent application, but also want to avoid its expensive fees and network congestion, can instead develop everything on Polygon. In other words, dApps built on top of Polygon can interact seamlessly with those built on Ethereum.
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